On 30-31 January 2009, EIUC was host to a high-level workshop on human rights diplomacy, which had been jointly organised by Dr. George Ulrich of EIUC, Prof. Michael O’Flaherty of the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre, and Prof. Dzidek Kedzia of the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. All three organising institutions contributed to the funding of the event. (PROGRAMME )
The workshop provided an occasion for academics, independent experts, diplomats and high-level office holders of international organisations to reflect on the current challenges and opportunities in the area of human rights diplomacy.
Central discussion themes included:
the delineation of human rights diplomacy in relation to other means for promoting and protecting human rights;
identification of the distinguishing features of human rights diplomacy (including reciprocity, mutual respect, trust, discretion, strategic communicative interaction shaped by complementary efforts at different levels);
identification of the primary actors, fora, and tools for human rights diplomacy as well as key factors conditioning failure and success in such diplomatic efforts;
examination of new patterns of human rights diplomacy in the context of the UN Human Rights Council, notably in relation to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the upcoming Durban Review Conference;
reflection on characteristics of the current age (post-September 11, end of the Bush era, twilight (?) of the “war” against terror and all the global polarisations and mistrust that this has entailed) that make well-designed diplomatic efforts in support of human rights all the more important.
Luis Alfonso de Alba Mission of Mexico to the UN and (Ambassador, Permanent other International Organisations in Geneva) and Manfred Nowak (Professor for International Human Rights, University of Vienna; UN Special Rapporteur on Torture)
Ibrahim Salama (Chief of Human Rights Treaty Branch, UN OHCHR); Dzidek Kedzia (Professor of Constitutional Law, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan; Member of UN Comm ittee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights); Michael O’Flaherty (Professor of Applied Human Rights, University of Nottingham; Member of UN Human Rights Committee); George Ulrich (Senior Research Fellow, EIUC)
A summary report on the workshop proceedings is under preparation and a joint academic publication devoted to further developing key workshop themes will be subsequently undertaken.
The final version of the workshop programme can be retrieved here.